Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Moving /home from primary to logical partition

When setting up my large ssd on the EeePC 901 (16 GB), I installed two OSes with each of them having / and /home partitions. So, that makes four partitions, right?
Well, no problem if you never want any more partitions. But if you do, you've already used up all of the available primary partitions.
As I did, I needed to delete one primary, create an extended partition and however many logical partitions I needed inside of the extended.
My intention was to take out the /home of LinuxMint and create a logical to take its place.
This post provides much detail on this operation.
However, my approach was a little different and I didn't need to use a Live CD or USB because I have a multiboot system.
So, what I did was:

1. Boot into Ubuntu on the same machine.
2. Mount the LinuxMint /home (/dev/sdb4)
3. Copy everything (use # cp -R) from the mounted partition to a new folder in /home of Ubuntu (I called it /home/paul/mint_home)
4. Boot to LinuxMint and edit /etc/fstab so that /dev/sdb5 (rather than /dev/sdb4) is mounted to /home
5. Use Gparted to delete /dev/sdb4, create an extended partition with a suitably sized logical within it (/dev/sdb5) formatted to Ext4
6. Back to Ubuntu, where I copied everything from /home/paul/mint_home to /dev/sdb5 after mounting this latter
7. Boot to LinuxMint which will probably give some error messages and an incomplete Desktop. At this stage use Alt-Ctl-F2 to get to a tty. Login and go to root. Then type the following three commands:

chown -R paul:paul /home/paul
chmod 644 /home/paul/.dmrc
chmod 644 /home/paul/.ICEauthority

Obviously, change paul to whatever your username is.
Then reboot from the tty and everything should be OK.

Before issuing these commands I got two errors on boot:

1. Could not update ICEauthority file /home/paul/.ICEauthority
2. There is a problem with the configuration server (usr/libgconf2-4/gconf-sanity-check-2). Exited with status 256

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